ONCE UPON a Mattress
A REAL PRINCESS OF A MUSICAL
at the MIDDLE SCHOOLIt was an enchanting blend of wacky medieval characters, comic antics, and splendid musical performances. Setting an amazing stage for a tale from the middle ages, the Middle School’s production of Once Upon A Mattress showcased the terrific talents of an ensemble of students, in dazzling costumes.
Unconventional and “horribly shy” Princess Winnifred The Woebegone (powerfully delivered with comic flair and singing gusto by MG) arrives from a far-off marshland Kingdom to bid for the hand of Prince Dauntless the Drab (endearingly played and sung by BW). To keep her son forever single, his mother, the elitist and oft-times hysterical Queen Aggravain (portrayed with amusing histrionics by voice sensation KS) selfishly schemes with her only ally, the Wizard (the ever-entertaining TC)—and so far, every suitor has failed her devious tests. King Sextimus the Silent (embodied by LH who played the mute part to the hilt) has nothing to say because of a mysterious curse of silence, which can only be reversed when “the mouse devours the hawk.”
Aggravated by the Queen’s decree forbidding all marriages until the Prince is married first, the subjects unite their efforts to help Princess “Fred” pass the test and prove that she is a real princess.
Retelling his firsthand version of the Princess and the Pea, the Minstrel (a great storyteller in AS, along with his companions the Jester (the candid voice of reason engagingly enacted by JB), Sir Harry (handsomely portrayed by RE), and Lady Larkin (amusing and appealing in JG's portrayal) collaborate with the klutzy ladies in waiting (played by JG, EP, AL) to ensure that Winifred’s “sensitivity” passes muster.
Once balance is restored in the kingdom, the story ends with everyone (including the audiences) “feeling happily, happily ever after, and thoroughly satisfied.”
They may not have had a fairy godmother or seven adoring dwarves to help, but the magic that appeared on stage every night was not just the result of the talented student cast. Thanks go to Director Jeff Hoffman, Musical Director Fred Diekmann, Producer Kristi Woerner, Choreography: Kenny Murray, Sound: Andrew Giammalvo, Set Construction: Ken Van Essendelft, Lighting: Steve Hailey, Pit Orchestra: Ari, Kramer, Tom Wolf, Diane Hoffman, Dr. Jen Morgo, Fred Diekmann, Pete DeSalvo.
In addition, Production staff included Master Artist: Cora Sparwasser, Props: Therese Ebarb, Costumes: Trish Stockart, Make-up/Hair: Kristi Woerner, High School volunteers: Brianna Gomez, Miles Whittaker, Kat Palma, along with Program Design/Production/t-Shirts: Eileen Harris, Tickets: Elizabeth Costorf, Cast Party: Patty Schick, parent volunteers, and everyone of the stage crew behind the scenes.
Sayville Middle School's Once Upon a Mattress was indeed an authentically charming, “dripping-with-glamour” production.